President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has turned Turkey into the voice of the oppressed, the underdogs of the world and he has shown this with actions and not with fancy words.
Syrians died, Syrians fled their country amidst a horrifying brutal civil war and the international community just looked on. All we saw was countries flexing their military muscles to gain the upper hand politically to have a say as the Middle East map was being reshaped.
The international community was shocked to see how Turkey opened its doors to the 3 million migrants from Syria who were fleeing the fatal civil war in that country. They were even more shocked as Turkey spent $30 billion for these people over a period of five years receiving little or no international help.
The quality and volume of Turkish assistance to the Syrians was reluctantly acknowledged by world leaders but many felt Turkey was motivated by trying to put out the fire burning in its next door neighbor. Yet, that was wrong.
Turkey has emerged as the champion of the rights of the oppressed, the deprived and the needy all over the world. It has put special emphasis on helping Muslims simply because the most oppressed and neglected groups of the suffering masses are Muslims all over the world in Africa, in Asia and elsewhere.
Even in Europe. Don't forget that the Muslims of Bosnia were subjected to the most brutal massacres in modern times and it was the Turks that rushed to their help long before the international community decided to intervene.
When President Erdoğan was telling the United Nations general Assembly last year that the world is greater than five, referring to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council he was actually demanding a new and more just international system that would safeguard the rights of the oppressed. Erdoğan's struggle to help the oppressed has not remained in words and has always been translated into actions.
His latest efforts that brought the recent massacres in the Arakan region of Myanmar to the attention of the international community underlines the fact that Turkey will stand up for the oppressed anywhere and everywhere in the world.
Erdoğan rallied support for the massacred Muslims of Arakan in telephone conversations with 20 world leaders in only a time span of four days. He even discussed the issue with the leader of Myanmar. He rallied support at the United Nations and forced international action. But he did not just settle on displaying diplomatic efforts.
He summoned his aides to work round the clock during the recent Muslim holiday season to mobilize Turkish state resources to help the refugees fleeing Myanmar into neighboring Bangladesh. The Turkish State Assistance Agency (TİKA) started sending relief material to Bangladesh and Myanmar to help the suffering Muslims.
Bangladesh was dragging its feet in allowing fleeing Myanmar Muslims into its territory. Turkey used its offices to convince the leaders of Bangladesh to accept the 195 thousand refugees fleeing the atrocities against Muslims and promised to finance their needs.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu rushed to Bangladesh for diplomatic contact and to help in the relief efforts for the Myanmar victims. First Lady Emine Erdoğan and the president's son Bilal Erdoğan also flew to Bangladesh to visit the Muslim refugees fleeing Myanmar and leading the relief efforts. They were accompanied by a Turkish team carrying 10 tons of relief material.
This is a country that not only lectures the world on the plight of the oppressed but it is a country that acts. This is Erdoğan's Turkey.
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